Of the 25+ years I’ve been a gamer, I’ve had about 16 years of regret about a single thing.. I’m to much of a pussy to play Silent Hill 2. But here I am, 2018, I found both the courage and the company of a good friend to play my way through this absolute classic. Thing is, is Silent Hill 2 really still worth playing today?
Given, I’ve been playing the Xbox360 port. For better or for worse. Many discussions been had about whether or not it’s the better version. I however decided to go with it regardless. The higher resolution alone makes it worthwile for me. I did however choose for the orininal voices. Even though, from what I checked in new voices, they are hardly any different. (Maybe I’ll try em on a second playthrough).
In my restless dreams..
I still see that town.. Silent Hill! The opening scene, which I must have seen a dozen times over the past 16 years, still sets the mood perfectly! You receive a letter from your wife… who died.. 3 years ago! Is she really waiting for me in Silent Hill? A man with nothing to lose, James Sunderland wanders into what seems like a damned town. What follows is a tale of subtle creepiness, gory horror, thick fog and silent darkness.
The good, the bad and the severely ugly..
On of the first things to notice is the horribly dated controls. It’s on thing to make controls delibirate in order to make the threats seem more severe, but this is just.. stiff. After some practice however, you get used to it and the controls become servicable. If you’re playing a 16 year old game however, some stiffness in the controls is implied.
After some stiff and awkward walking around the parkinglot I find the map and make my way into Silent Hill. From the creepy sandy path, to the graveyard and the hotel.. All of Silent Hill feels.. off. In a good way that is. Silent Hill 2 got great praise for it’s atmosphere and it does not dissappoint. Even though you are not in direct danger in many moments, you are always aware of the lurking horrors.
A good conversationalist knows when to talk, and most of all, when not to. Silent Hill 2 is an amazing conversationalist. It knows when to let you guess, when to say what is needs and when to let you just.. be! Not only with story, danger and horror, but also very much so with music. There have been multiple moments where just the start of some music made me pauze, and put down the controller. … creepy.
And don’t get me started on sound effects. Without spoiling anything, there have been multiple moments that made me question my game of choice just by the simple sound of a door closing, a knock on the wall or even a womans voice softly calling my name. As you might have guessed, I scare easily in games and get creeped out fairly easy. Silent Hill 2 touched this very nerve and played it the full 12 hours I needed to complete it.
I should have known better..
I am far from an expert when I comes to horror games. Silent Hill, Resident Evil.. even Bioshock. All of them fascinating and very alluring, but ultimately far to scary for this pussy. So really, there is nothing I can compare this to. What I can do, is judge it as a standalone expirience and that expirience is good. I was truly amazed at the atmosphere, clever puzzles and horrifying and subtle story of Silent Hill 2. If my friend cares to join me again, I might just dive into more games like this, but for now, I’m off to play some more Hello Kitty Island Adventure.
(I would love to hear some more games like Silent Hill that are worth playing through. Mind you though, I loved the sublte atmosphere and puzzles more then the horror and/or action in Silent Hill 2)